Meet the doggy stars of Doc Martin, which continues on Wednesday on ITV at 9.00pm
Doc Martin animal trainer Sonia Turner (pictured) has revealed that there will be not one but two star dogs in tonight’s episode of the hit ITV drama.
That’s right, rescue dog Dodger (a Westie-Jack Russell Cross), who plays the Doc’s dogged pal Buddy, welcomes his best mate Paddy (a Jack Russell Cross), star of Midsomer Murders and the Dog’s Trust adverts, on to the show in tonight’s episode. He’ll play a stray called Bob, who will vex the Doc…
We’re pleased to report that off-screen Paddy and Dodger (who is currently shooting the film Mary Queen of Scots with Martin Compston and David Tennant) still have their paws on the ground.
They run over to give TV Times a warm welcome, and with them is trainer Sonia Turner, who describes herself as a ‘proud parent’ watching her dogs on TV.
Here Sonia tells TV Times about working with the dogs on Doc Martin
TV Times: Do Dodger and Paddy enjoy being on the Doc Martin set?
Sonia Turner: “They adore it, they pull on the lead to go to work and they love the attention. Dodger is a bit diva-ish, you can just see him thinking, ‘Move over Brad Pitt, here I am!’ When we’re not filming we take the dogs for nice walks on the Cornish beaches and they go swimming. They’re just regular dogs and they see filming as a fun thing to do where they get fed.”
TVT: How do they react when Doc Martin is grumpy with them?
ST: “Well, Martin Clunes said from the beginning he wasn’t going to shout at Dodger, because he’s a big guy with a booming voice. So bless him, he mimes the shouting and dubs it in afterwards! The dogs really love Martin; they jump all over him.”
TVT: Does Paddy enjoy working on Midsomer Murders?
ST: “Yes, he’s really happy there and Neil Dudgeon is lovely with him. We trained the original dog, Sykes, but he was beginning to get tired and the dog’s welfare is always the most important thing. We went for an audition with Paddy and they loved him.”
Paddy playing a starring role alongside Neil Dudgeon in Midsomer Murders
TVT: How did Paddy end up on Doc Martin?
ST: “Martin spotted him when we took Dodger on set, and wanted to create a part for him. The Doc Martin people spoke to the Midsomer Murders people to sort out his filming days and it all worked out perfectly – it’s a very funny episode.”
TVT: “At home, do the dogs behave like normal pets?”
ST: “Yes, definitely, they live with us and play together all the time. They behave like two naughty kids, getting into trouble.”
TVT: Do you work with other famous doggies?
ST: “Yes, Tori the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lives with us too, she played Dash in Victoria and we also train Sunny the pug, who plays Horace in Poldark, and I worked with Wellard on EastEnders many years ago.”
TVT: What makes a good TV dog?
ST: “They’ve got to be greedy! Everything is about rewards and we tend to give them sausages. Paddy is a really clever dog and he’s still young so he can really concentrate. But if Dodger can smell some food in somebody’s handbag, he’ll stick his nose in!”
TVT: Tips for cheeky dogs?
ST: It’s about teamwork. It shouldn’t take too long to give a dog basic training, but everyone’s got to be singing from the same hymn sheet.
Main picture and picture of Dodger with Paddy by Richard Kendal.